Researchers should be aware that county boundaries changed frequently during three time periods: after the change of ownership from Spain to the U.S in 1821; after 1900, when the railroad was completed on the East Coast of Florida; and during the ‘Land Boom,’ which began right after World War I. The last four counties were created in 1925.1
The Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics is the agency responsible for maintaining vital records for all vital events occurring in Florida.
Delayed birth certificates are issued either by a court or administratively through Vital Statistics, to those whose births were never recorded with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Generally, the first year of delayed registration began in approximately 1942.
Florida adoption records are sealed The origianl papers are filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the couty where the adoption took place. Medical background on the firth family is given to the adoptive family at adoption. Since 1982, the Florida Adoption Reunion REgistry was established to reunite people affected by adoption.1
Federal Population Schedules
In 1879, Congress passed an act that provided some funding for any state or territory to conduct a census in 1885. Florida was one of the five states or territories that took advantage of this pooortunity, and it includes the special schedules: mortality, agriculture, and manufacturing. Arrangement within the schedules is bu enumeration district, precinct, or city. An every-name index with 312,551 names is given in William T. Martin and Partricia Martin, 1885 Florida State Census Index (Miami: W.T. & P. Martin, 1991). Four Florida counties are missing: Alachua, Clay, Columbia, and Nassau.
The Spanish took a number of censuses during their periods of colonial control (1565-1763 and 1783-1821). Most have been published, though some may be hard to find. ‘The 1783 Spanish Census of Florida’ was translated and published in four consecutive issues of the Georgia Genealogical Magazine, beginning with no. 39 (Winter 1971). Approximately one-quarter of the census is available online. (Search for ‘Florida Census 1783.’) Refer to the Red Book Florida Census section for more resources. The link to the Florida Section of the online Red Book is provided in the resource links below. The Census Records for Florida section can be accessed from the right column links.1
The Ligislative Council met in 1824 and approved an act to take a census in each of the counties of the Territory. Only a fragment of Leon County exists today. The information listed includes the name of the head of the family and the number of household members, including slaves. The census fragment was printed in The Florida Historical Quarterly 22 (1943): 34-40 by Dorothy Dodd, as ‘The Florida Census of 1825’ and is also available online at http://sites.rootsweb.com/~flleon/1825cens.htm.
The state of Florida conducted its own censuses in 1845, 1855, 1867, 1875, 1885, 1935, and 1945. The state census was abolished in 1949. Only the following fragments of the early one remain at the Florida State Archives.
Red Book Online Version- Florida Family History Research (access sections in right menu)
Florida Census: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Florida_Census
Florida Online Genealogy Records: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Florida_Online_Genealogy_Records
1783 Spanish Census of East Florida
Florida Department of State – Division of Library and Information Services – Genealogy
Ancestry.com Flordia Data Collections
Access Genealogy – Florida Genealogy
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